Free and fair elec­tions top pri­or­ity; pledges Raja

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

IS­LAM­ABAD:

Prime Min­is­ter Raja Pervez Ashraf has re­it­er­ated government’s re­solve to hold free‚ fair and im­par­tial elec­tions in the coun­try on time.

Talk­ing to Sec­re­tary Elec­tion Com­mis­sion Ish­tiaq Ahmed Khan in Is­lam­abad Tues­day‚ he ex­pressed the con­fi­dence that the up­com­ing elec­tions will fur­ther strengthen the demo­cratic process by stream­lin­ing the role of state in­sti­tu­tions in the polity.

The prime min­is­ter ap­pre­ci­ated Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan for com­plet­ing all ar­range­ments for hold­ing the Gen­eral Elec­tions in the coun­try. He ap­pre­ci­ated the de­ci­sion of the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion to ban dis­play of weapons dur­ing elec­tions.

Raja Pervez Ashraf as­sured the Sec­re­tary ECP that the government will ex­tend all ad­min­is­tra­tive and lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port to ECP in or­der to en­sure max­i­mum par­tic­i­pa­tion and voter turnout. The Sec­re­tary Elec­tion Com­mis­sion in­formed the Prime Min­is­ter that a code of con­duct has also been pre­pared by the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan which pro­hibits dis­play of weapons dur­ing elec­tion cam­paign. The Sec­re­tary Elec­tion Com­mis­sion also briefed the Prime Min­is­ter that can­di­dates will have to spec­ify the venues of their pub­lic meet­ings and the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion will per­mit them to hold meet­ings in con­sul­ta­tion with the lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion. Sim­i­larly‚ ral­lies and pro­ces­sions brought out by can­di­dates will have to fol­low spec­i­fied routes ap­proved by the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan.

Mean­while, Prime Min­is­ter un­der­lined Pak­istan has al­ways at­tached great im­por­tance to its time-tested re­la­tion­ship with China and Pak­istan-China friend­ship is an in­te­gral part of Pak­istan’s for- eign pol­icy. Talk­ing to am­bas­sador des­ig­nate to China‚ Ma­sood Khalid in Is­lam­abad the Prime Min­is­ter ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over present trade re­la­tions and di­rected him to work for ex­pan­sion in trade be­tween the two coun­tries.

The Prime Min­is­ter un­der­lined the need to trans­form the friend­ship be­tween the two coun­tries into strong busi­ness part­ner­ship. Raja Pervez Ashraf said we are proud of our ex­cel­lent re­la­tions with China‚ with which we have a strate­gic part­ner­ship. He said our co­op­er­a­tion with China on re­gional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els is ex­em­plary.

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